A final decision on the HS2 route between Fradley in the West Midlands and Crewe has been announced, with the government confirming its intention to open this section of the line six years earlier than planned, in 2027.
In confirming the route, the UK transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has issued safeguarding directions for Phase 2a of HS2, to protect land from potential conflicting development.
This follows the consideration of public responses to the November 2014 consultation on safeguarding this section of the route.
Issuing safeguarding directions means that owner-occupiers in the safeguarded area (usually 60 metres either side of the line of route) can serve a blight notice, asking the government to purchase their property.
In addition to receiving the un-blighted value of their home, eligible owner-occupiers can also expect to receive a home-loss payment of ten per cent of the value of their home (up to £53,000) and reasonable moving costs.
As part of its commitment to assisting people affected by HS2, the government has also launched a consultation to give the public an opportunity to comment on the wider proposed property compensation and assistance package for Phase 2a.
This is based on the extensive existing package available to owner-occupiers affected by the Phase One HS2 route.
McLoughlin said: “HS2 will help rebalance our economy by providing more space on our crowded rail network, creating jobs and supporting business.
“Confirming that the route from the West Midlands to Crewe will open 6 years early is a major boost for the Midlands, Northern Powerhouse and beyond.
“HS2 is a transformational scheme and we are committed to helping those who are affected by it.
“That is why we are proposing a comprehensive package of compensation and assistance for homeowners along the route, which goes well beyond what we are required to do by law.
“I hope that confirmation of the Phase 2a route will also give communities the certainty they need to plan for the future and make the most of this vital railway.”